About Me

My photo
Spofford, New Hampshire, United States
Jeff Newcomer has been a physician practicing in New Hampshire and Vermont for over 30 years. Over that time, as a member of the Conservation Commission in his home of Chesterfield New Hampshire, he has used his photography to promote the protection and appreciation of the town's wild lands. In recent years he has been transitioning his focus from medicine to photography, writing and teaching. Jeff enjoys photographing throughout New England, but has concentrated on the Monadnock Region and southern Vermont and has had a long term artistic relationship with Mount Monadnock. He is a featured artist in a number of local galleries and his work is often seen in regional print, web publications and in business installations throughout the country. For years Jeff has published a calendar celebrating the beauty of The New England country-side in all seasons. All of the proceeds from his New England Reflections Calendar have gone to support the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program at the Cheshire Medical Center. Jeff has a strong commitment to sharing his excitement about the special beauty of our region and publishes a weekly blog about photography in New England.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Hanging In


Hancock Meeting House
This is one of those weeks when I am struggling to get two blogs ready in the same  week. Once again it is my turn to contribute an article to the New England Photography Guild Blog and of course I will also need my usual weekly "Getting It Right in the Digital Camera" article. For the guild, I'm working on an piece about one of my favorite classic New England villages, Hancock, New Hampshire, and as usual I will dedicate my personal blog to an album of additional images from Hancock that I have collected over the years. All this leaves me little time for this week's blog, so I've decided to offer a quick tip. This week it's about tools to make hanging your pictures easier and more precise, and it was triggered by a simple devise that I found at Bed Bath and Beyond, of all places, just a few days ago.

Nail-Free Hanging, Jaffrey Civic Center

The Challenge
I've have talked about the challenges of hanging images at shows as well as on the walls at home. There are new hanging systems that make this much easier, but for me, one of the biggest challenges comes when I have to pound nails into a wall and somehow try to get all the pictures to line up. I've tried various approaches usually with disappointing results. Often I will give up and purposely hang the pictures at significantly different levels to avoid the disorienting discomfort of seeing them all slightly out of alignment.

DIY Hanging
My best solution has been a simple home-made tool. I don't have the patience or skill to construct a complicated device, so this is perfect. Here are the instructions:

Get a strip of wood and put a screw through it at one end.

 That's it. It only took me three of four tries to get it right. Once I got over the fact that it contained no batteries or microchips, I found that it worked pretty well. I simply hang the picture on the screw, adjust to the desired height and then press on the screw to make a small hole where the nail will go. Except for the problem of the picture occasionally falling off the screw, this has worked rather well, but a few days ago I found something that should work even better. Still no batteries, but It has a level!

Hang and Level
Hang and Level
As I was browsing at Bed, Bath and Beyond in Keene, I saw that someone with much better engineering skills had improved on my idea. I knew it would work great because the package said, "As Seen on TV". I had to have it. The "Hang and Level" did exactly what my crummy wood slat tool did, but it had hooks to keep the picture from falling of, and, since the nails on the The back are recessed, and only poke through when pressed, the tool can be held tightly against the wall, without scratching the finish. It also offers a two hook option for heavier pictures, and it includes two levels. I already have a level in my picture hanging tool kit, but this thing was bright yellow plastic, how could I resist. It even fits in my tool box. 

The Hang and Level seems to be widely available. I found listings at Home Depot, Walmart, Ace Hardware and on Amazon. For the sake of some free advertising, I found it at Bed Bath and Beyond and it was certainly worth the $15 price. You can check out Under the Roof Decorating's website for more information including a number of simple videos, but if the price is too steep you can always go the DIY route.  I still hate being forced to pound nails into perfectly good walls, but now I can't wait to hang a show where I can try my new, favorite tool. I'm talking to YOU, Kristin's Bakery and Cafe, I'll see you in the spring with this bad boy in hand.

Kristin's Crumbling Wall
I'd love to hear how you deal with this problem and, if you try it, how the Hang and Level works for you.

Now on to Hancock!

Jeffrey Newcomer

No comments:

Post a Comment